The body remains the most visibly gendered social and cultural construction. Not only does it classify individuals into two different sexes from the very start of their lives, but some of the most obvious social divisions – such as race and nationality, age and physical appearance, religion, or class – are also written on the body. Although most studies have focused on women’s bodies, the present volume seeks to explore both the construction and deconstruction of the male body in and through U.S. culture and literature from the early twentieth century up to the present. In so doing, this book illustrates not only the changing nature of the male body but also its recurrent use as a political weapon throughout U.S. cultural and literary history.
Embodying Masculinities sketches the first history of the male body in modern U.S. culture and literature. The book will be of interest to scholars in the fields of gender and masculinity studies as well as those in American studies.